This is beautiful large Piki tray from the very early part of the 20th Century. It was purchased from the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and comes with a Certificate of Authentication for them. It is a large tray is in wonderful condition.
These baskets were made for carrying quantities of the lightweight traditional flat bread called piki. They are made from plaited wild current bundles which form concentric diamonds from the center to the wicker border which is finished with a wrapped yucca edge.
The Piki bread is a ceremonial bread and a staple of the Hopi. The Hopi make Piki bread from ground blue corn meal and ashes blended with water to make a creamy batter. This batter, which is spread very thinly on hot oiled stones, cooks quite quickly. At least two layers are stacked and rolled several times. The resulting bread is beautiful and light, wafer-thin and crispy, light blue to gray in color with an earthy, smoky, mildly sweet corn flavor. In the past, and still today, the Piki bread is served on a Piki tray.
Condition: Purchased from Museum of New Mexico Foundation in 1984 (COA from the museum accompanies this purchase). It has been in my family’s private collection since purchased.
Recommended Reading: Indian Baskets of the Southwest by Clara Lee Tanner.